Acer pull device launch press conference following Google “concerns”

Google are massive. That’s it, plain and simple. They dominate a whopping 50% of the smartphone market, in the US, with their Android OS on hundreds of different handsets. Acer is just one of the handset manufacturers that use Android, on more than 90% of the handsets that they produce.


The smartphone that almost was

Acer, who planned to launch a new smartphone called the CloudMobile A800 powered by Aliyun OS from Chinese Internet firm Alibaba Group, has now cancelled a press conference that would have launched the device. This was after Google expressed their “concerns” about the new smartphone.

An unnamed official at Acer has said:

Acer will continue to communicate with Google and the company still wants to launch the new smartphone based on Alibaba software.

What are these concerns that Google voiced? Well Google themselves are remaining tight lipped, but Alibaba have said the following about Acer:

[Acer] was notified by Google that if the product runs Aliyun OS, Google will terminate its Android- related cooperation and other technology licensing with our partner....We regret Google's action.

This is pretty heavy handed. The Chinese market is huge and with a reported 120 million people who don’t own a smartphone, there are going to be some ruthless calls by companies to tempt those people over to their platform from their rivals.

Source: Nasdaq
Image: Business Week

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Delay in iPhone 5 shipments already?

Next Story

Google VS Apple: Google lose ‘rubber banding' case in Germany

38 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

So, by android clone you mean android is NOT open source? Just wondering, some people like to throw that word open-source around a bit.

Invizibleyez said,
So, by android clone you mean android is NOT open source? Just wondering, some people like to throw that word open-source around a bit.

Android itself is open source but the Google services are not. If you are a phone manufacturer and want to include apps like Gmail, Maps, and Google Play on your device they require a license to do so.

GreyWolf said,
Android is open source. I didn't think anyone had to license anything. Am I missing something?

Google services are licensed.

GreyWolf said,
Android is open source. I didn't think anyone had to license anything. Am I missing something?

Partners also get early access to source code, along with other benefits. It looks like Acer wanted to be a preferred partner with Google, as well as producing Android clones like Aliyun OS. That probably don't go down too well.

Ethics aside, what do you think Acer and other MFRs will do in reaction to this?

WP8 hits critical marketshare a year earlier than anticipated?

thenetavenger said,

WP8 hits critical marketshare a year earlier than anticipated?

Is that in some alternative universe where WP actually sells?

Google can do what they like. Apple can do what they like. Microsoft can do what they like. Why does news like this bring out all the obscenely insignificant opinions of people calling them out for bullying etc? It's business and they're protecting their assets/contracts. I fully agree that Google did the right thing here.

Now expect a large anti-trust investigation against Google at least in China. Chinese can even try with EU as well.


[Acer] was notified by Google that if the product runs Aliyun OS, Google will terminate its Android- related cooperation and other technology licensing with our partner....We regret Google's action.

Considering Aliyun OS is a clone of Android, I can understand this action. Google probably doesn't want Acer offering an Android clone with its services and technologies included.

simplezz said,

Considering Aliyun OS is a clone of Android, I can understand this action. Google probably doesn't want Acer offering an Android clone with its services and technologies included.

Just like how Andorid is a clone of iOS

FoxieFoxie said,

Just like how Andorid is a clone of iOS

LOL *pats FoxieFoxie on the head* why are fanboys always so ignorant. Android is not a clone of iOS. Can Android run iOS apps? No. Can Aliyun run Android apps? You bet!

The last line of this wikipedia entry might help put this into perspective. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyun_OS

M4x1mus said,

LOL *pats FoxieFoxie on the head* why are fanboys always so ignorant. Android is not a clone of iOS. Can Android run iOS apps? No. Can Aliyun run Android apps? You bet!

The last line of this wikipedia entry might help put this into perspective. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyun_OS

Maemo can run APK apps too, most of Android is under Apache 2.0 licence. You can fork it and do pretty much anything you want with it. Your point makes no sense.

FoxieFoxie said,

Just like how Andorid is a clone of iOS


Oh that explains why they have features which appear in later versions of iOS, oh wait...

I don't think there is anything original about iOS, even its name belongs to another company

FoxieFoxie said,

Maemo can run APK apps too, most of Android is under Apache 2.0 licence. You can fork it and do pretty much anything you want with it. Your point makes no sense.

Wikipedia said,

The OS itself is a binary-compatible Android clone. An App Store was launched with the Aliyun OS that contains downloadable Android APK_(file_format) files.

Maemo/Meego/Tizen might have the ability to run Dalvik based Android apps, but its not a clone. Aliyun is. In fact, its maps functionality looks like a direct rip-off of Google maps too.

There's no way Acer can be a Google partner as well as selling Android clones at the same time. Can you imagine Microsoft's response to its partners if they started selling WP clones?

simplezz said,

Considering Aliyun OS is a clone of Android, I can understand this action. Google probably doesn't want Acer offering an Android clone with its services and technologies included.

That would make sense if Android wasn't open source...

DamagedBits said,

That would make sense if Android wasn't open source...

I thought Android was based of Linux. Therefore, they have to keep the source code available. I am pretty sure I read some articles here and there over the years that certain entities wanted the source code but Google would not give it up despite they are suppose to. I was never sure why there was never a legal case. Maybe the articles I read were crap. I am too lazy to look up sources.

On another note. I downloaded the source code for my Sony picture frame and looking through the code I can see a lot of folders/code that have Android in the file/folder name. So maybe the source code is available.

Even if Android was open source that does not mean their apps, infrastructure or resources is open source and free to use.

FoxieFoxie said,

Maemo can run APK apps too, most of Android is under Apache 2.0 licence. You can fork it and do pretty much anything you want with it. Your point makes no sense.

Dude, just because you lack simple comprehension skills, doesn't mean my point makes no sense, it just means it makes no sense to you. My point was that there is no way android could be an iOS clone. They can't even run the same programs.

The only people who ever said Android is a clone are people who don't know any better and think any phone with a grid layout of icons on the home screen looks similar to iOS so must be the same. Oh and fanboys. Judging by the fact that you know what the Apache 2.0 license is I'm guessing you're a fanboy.

Have fun with that, but do us a favour and keep quiet because no one wants your one sided opinion.

"... with a reported 120 million people who don't own a smartphone" - so the remaining 1.2 bln people in China do own a smartphone?

cycro said,
"... with a reported 120 million people who don't own a smartphone" - so the remaining 1.2 bln people in China do own a smartphone?

No, most of those can't buy one because they're poor.

GP007 said,
No, most of those can't buy one because they're poor.

Then there must be more that "120 million people who don't own a smartphone".
The number thrown in the article doesn't seem to make much sense.

ichi said,

Then there must be more that "120 million people who don't own a smartphone".
The number thrown in the article doesn't seem to make much sense.

I could be wrong but I took it to mean that there are 120 million people in China who have phones that aren't smartphones. The rest either have a smartphone already or are part of the group (that I would guess is the majority) who don't have mobile phones at all.

Mohitster said,
This is pretty blunt as far as bullying goes!

Depends on Google's reasons: if Aliyun runs Android apps (which it does) and those are being taken from Google Play and distributed on AliyunOS store by different publishers (there are a couple of examples shown in another thread) then Google could have perfectly legit reasons to revoke Acer's partner status if they go with that OS.